Friday 18 October 2019

MD cannot represent company in court

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Stock image

Tim Healy

THE managing director of a fish-farming company cannot represent it in a legal action brought by AIB against the company over an alleged unpaid debt, the Supreme Court has ruled.

Ms Justice Mary Finlay Geoghegan said that the case raised "difficult" issues about the entitlement of a company to be represented in proceedings before the superior courts by a person who is not a lawyer entitled to a right of audience.

Giving the five-judge court's unanimous judgment, Ms Justice Mary Finlay Geoghegan concluded that there is no such entitlement, except where there are "exceptional" circumstances.

There were no such exceptional circumstances in this case involving Aqua Fresh Fish, she held.

The impecuniosity of a company, lack of available funds to it or the fact that the person seeking to represent it is its principal shareholder were not exceptional circumstances, the judge said.

It was neither desirable nor practicable for the court to define "exceptional circumstances", she added.

The matter was adjourned to allow Lyndon MacCann SC, for AIB, and Anthony Thuillier BL, for the company, to consider the judgment.

Irish Independent

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